Keegan Dewitt "Keegan Dewitt & the Sparrows” (Dual Coast Recording Company 2006)
Keegan Dewitt is a talented performer and songwriter who could be great and this debut album showcases the talent and highlights the room for maturity into a powerful artist.
He hails from the Great Northwest via North Carolina, Los Angeles and currently New York and wears his influences on his sleeve (and his publicity) Dylan, The Band, Wilco and Sam Cooke (so far so usual). The album opens with Bed of Mercy, a light, breezy shuffle that weedles into you as the upfront vocal speaks above the sparse arrangement and then breaks into a gorgeous sundappled guitar break. This is potentially joyous stuff, and when the guitar trades off the Hammond organ, it is!
‘Coming Down The Line’ is also upfront husky vocals and harmonies and bustling light arrangements. This is a driving song for the open road, hood down, sun shining and Bush out of office – that kind of optimism.
All the tracks are performed with a gusto and musicianship that seeps through the songs and into your head; catchy choruses ‘Come on Byrd’, the Springsteenesque dual vocal of ‘Is it Love’ in debt to ‘I’m on Fire’ but not beholden to it, the confessional ‘Christmas Light’ with its delicate arrangements and whispered vocal.
If there is a criticism to make it is that the last three tracks feel slightly underdone, the solo ‘Anyone But You’ and ‘Make me a Bed’ a bit too bedsit troubadour and ‘Country Road’ a thrash. But this is nit picking.
This is a stunning debut that will reward repeated listens and grow into a real favourite. Great songs with depth and heart. Stop mentioning the influences, Keegan, you have arrived.
Date review added: Thursday, April 12, 2007
Reviewer: keith hargreaves
Related web link: artists website